Random Revelations: Article #48- 42 Phenomenal Random Facts

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1Urbach-Wiethe disease

Urbach-Wiethe disease

A woman suffers from a rare genetic condition known as Urbach-Wiethe disease which hardens the amygdala. This has rendered her literally fearless. Scientists have exposed her to potentially terrifying experiences and none of them scared her.

2. Ken Jeong would add little inside jokes into the Hangover movie to make his wife, who was battling breast cancer, laugh when she watched it.

3. Ray Bradbury wrote the first draft of "Fahrenheit 451" on a coin-operated typewriter in the basement of the UCLA library. It charged 10¢ for 30 minutes, and he spent $9.80 in total at the machine.

4. Barbara Walters told Corey Feldman "you're damaging an entire industry", when he came forward about Hollywood abuse.

5. John Favreau credits Dungeons & Dragons with giving him a really strong background in imagination, storytelling, understanding how to create tone and a sense of balance.

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6Sacred Band of Thebes

Sacred Band of Thebes

In Ancient Thebes, there was a fairly successful band of warriors (Sacred Band of Thebes) consisting entirely of 150 gay couples. They were chosen based on the idea that "you fight better when trying to impress your lover".

7. Theo Albrecht, co-founder of the discount store Aldi, negotiated his own ransom when he was kidnapped and held for 17 days. He later won tax relief on the ransom payment claiming it was a business expense.

8. The red liquid seeping out of a cooked rare steak isn't blood. It is, in fact, a mixture of a protein called 'Myoglobin' and water. Myoglobin helps muscle tissue store oxygen and just like Hemoglobin, contains iron that turns red when it binds with oxygen.

9. Jackie Kennedy wore her blood-splattered pink Chanel suit for the rest of the day after JFK's assassination. When asked to change her outfit, she replied: "I want them to see what they have done to Jack."

10. In 1493, Columbus mistook manatees for mermaids and wrote: “They are not so beautiful as they are said to be, for their faces had some masculine traits."

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11Musical Hamilton

Musical Hamilton

The musical Hamilton has over 20,000 words and would take 4-6 hours to perform if songs were sung at traditional musical paces.

12. Tennis balls were traditionally black or white. They were changed to yellow in 1972 after research showed they were more visible on television.

13. From 1933 until 1977 there was a Presidential Yacht, but it was sold off by Jimmy Carter, and today raccoons live in it.

14. Some churches are using signal jammers to make the congregation stop using their mobile phones.

15. Samuel Morse invented the telegraph after he received a letter of his wife's failing health and after she'd died.

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In 1973, IBM offered its UPC barcode proposal to the grocery industry for free. The industry accepted a very close standard to their proposal. However, IBM also made the first technology capable of reading the barcodes and made tons of money selling the equipment to grocery stores.

17. The United States avoided the thalidomide tragedy because FDA inspector Frances Kelsey blocked its approval based on lack of safety data despite pressure from her FDA supervisors and the pharmaceutical company. Meanwhile, 10,000 thalidomide babies were born in Europe, Australia, and Japan

18. Joseph Pujol was a professional farter and highest paid performer at the Moulin Rouge. For his grand finale, he would play "La Marseillaise" through his anus and then blow out candles from yards away. Corseted women in the audience were known to pass out from laughter.

19. The city of Lexington Kentucky holds a Halloween parade every year in which citizens can sign up to dress as zombies and dance to Thriller behind a Micheal Jackson impersonator. The event has gotten so popular there are now six Micheal Jacksons throughout the city.

20. Taylor Mitchell was a 19-year old Canadian Country Folk singer who was killed by coyotes while hiking in 2009. She is the only known adult ever killed by coyotes, and her death shocked wildlife experts and forced them to reassess the threat that coyotes pose to people.

21Szechuan dipping sauce

Szechuan dipping sauce

McDonalds Szechuan dipping sauce wasn't Szechuan at all, as the Szechuan peppercorn was banned in the US at the time of the original promotion.

22. The Vikings were the first Europeans in North America landing in modern-day Newfoundland in Canada, beating Christopher Columbus by 500 years.

23. Russia has “closed cities”, cities that have restrictions on visitors and are sometimes omitted from maps.

24. The Simpsons' episode guest starring Lady Gaga is the lowest rated episode in the show's history.

25. Soviet leader Konstantin Chernenko started smoking at the age of 9. He died after only 13 months in office, the third Soviet leader to die during Reagan's presidency. When informed, Reagan remarked, "How am I supposed to get anyplace with the Russians if they keep dying on me?"

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